The town is very popular with visitors to the seaside and many like to partake of some refreshment whilst there so we have compiled a tour commencing at the railway station. It isn't comprehensive and you may have the joy of discovering other pubs yourself! Take the side exit from the concourse onto the promenade and turn left. In approximately 300 yards (metres if you prefer) you will reach the first pub on the tour:

    The Punchbowl



    This pub, like many has had a varied history and is a haven amongst the slot machine arcades. A well-appointed place which seems to survive due to its food but is just right if you wish to eat and/or drink with a lovely sea (actually a busy commercial river) view and to watch the world go by, although dependant upon the time of day, this may be somewhat restricted by the cars parked in front, as shown in the picture. There is only one real ale available but the Caledonian Deuchars IPA is in tiptop condition. Retrace your steps to the station and a choice of two pubs:  Just a few steps away from the gate to the car park you will see the:

    No.1 Pub


    As the name suggest, this was formerly just that, located halfway along platform one. Usually stocking Bateman's XXX and Draught Bass   plus guest ales, This pub has a large public bar with a raised area close to the door and a pool table, whilst the other side of the bar area is a pleasant lounge which is filled with railway memorabilia (continued into the bar)  and a small room overlooking the platform. Retrace your steps and the next pub is one which you no doubt will already have spotted if arriving by train. This is the:

    No.2 Refreshment Room


    A multi-winner of our branch “Pub of the Year” award and Good Beer Guide regular, this small bar is run by enthusiastic licensees, as one can imagine and is reflected by the range of beers, most of which are permanent but a guest or two can be found. Well decorated and popular. The next port of call is through the gateway and up the station approach path where at the top can be found:

    The Swashbuckle


    The Swash has a long, narrow bar area and the bar fitting is in the shape of a galleon. A larger room can be found beyond which has a pool table. There are usually two real ales on tap and a small courtyard for al fresco drinking. Upon leaving, turn right and right at the corner into High Street where, among the trendy bars you will find:

    The Coliseum Picture Theatre


    This is a new conversion of a nightclub, itself a former cinema by the Wetherspoon chain. The usual house style is apparent but there is a strong Roman theme throughout, an upper floor and an open roof terrace. retrace your steps to the corner and continue along Alexandra Road, with the pier on your left. After passing a number of shops, restaurants and the public library, you reach:

    The Nottingham House


    The “Notts” is a classic town pub with many features unchanged since before World War 2. To the left of the main entrance is the public bar, which is as you would expect. To the right is one of two lounges. The first has a number of attractive features whilst through at the rear is another lounge which has all-round banqette seating. Formerly a Tetley pub, its beer is still stocked and the range is currently Tetley Mild and Bitter, Timothy Taylor Landlord and Oakham Citra enhanced by three guest ales. Just around the corner and slightly down the hill will be found:

    The Smugglers


    This pub is below street level, with the main bar to the right and a smaller lounge area to the left. Television screens are much in evidence here and it can be somewhat noisy when matches are screened. Having said this, it is a comfortable pub, run by Marston’s brewery and of course stocks beers from their range. Since they own Jennings, Wychwood and Ringwood breweries, apart from Pedigree, almost anything from these may be found. Not far to the next, almost next door in fact, in the form of:

    Willy’s Pub and Brewery


    As the name suggests, this pub has its very own brewery attached and it may be viewed from inside, as well as from the street. L-shaped, you won’t find any soft furnishings here. It’s a former wine bar and the interior is largely unaltered since then. In addition to Willy’s Original and an occasional beer from their range plus Draught Bass, there are always two guest ales usually from micro-breweries and the pub is an ever-present in the Good Beer Guide. Just two more to go, so turn left on leaving and 100 yards down the road is:

    The King’s Royal


    Two pubs in one here. To the left is an Irish themed bar whilst to the right is a smaller bar and lounge. Rare in the area is the presence of what is known as a “Snug”. This is a very small drinking area and will be seen on entering from the right. Advance past this and the serving area is encountered. Stocking two changing  beers, these are always of good quality. Towards the rear is a small lounge area. Accommodation is available here to complete the picture. Turn right on leaving and the final destination is about a half-mile further down the seafront. This is:

    The Wellow


    Having undergone a total revamp and reopened in March 2010, The Wellow is now unrecognisable on the inside and the much favoured open plan is now in evidence. The furnishings are of high quality and comfort and the background music is just that. As one might expect as a member of the “Hungry Horse” chain there is an emphasis on a good selection of reasonably priced food which is not surprising in a tourist area. Real ale has returned after a long absence and at the time of writing consists of Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen. If you aren't too full of food and/or drink, you might care to visit the boating lake and the superb miniature steam railway running from the station opposite which will take you to the Pleasure Island entertainment complex and beyond. At Thrunscoe station you will encounter The Signalbox which is claimed to be “Britain’s Smallest Pub” I’ll leave you to judge for yourself!